AIB International: Three Tips for Controlling Foreign Material

Foreign material is the third leading cause of food recalls by the FDA and poses a serious threat to food safety, so controlling it is a critical aspect of any food safety plan. Here are three tips for doing so:

1. Develop a Foreign Material Management Plan

Each manufacturing facility’s risks will be different, so warrant a different series of controls. To better understand the risks specific to your facility, your food safety team can use hazard analysis, which will help them discover how foreign materials may get into your products. Based on this assessment, you can develop an effective foreign material management plan that includes a series of preventive controls to address and mitigate the risks found in receiving, throughout the manufacturing process, and in packaging.

2. Establish Preventive Controls

To assist in detecting foreign material, there are a variety of systems that can be used, including strainers, magnets, metal detectors, and X-ray units. Choosing the controls that are best for your facility should be based upon the hazard analysis you’ve conducted, which will provide an understanding of the risks faced, and direct implementation of the necessary detection systems. Examples of possible controls include:

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